The latest controversy from America

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The latest controversy from America

Postby Ricky » Tue Jun 23, 2015 2:06 pm

No, not gun control... :mrgreen:

After recent events, it seems to me that there is a good deal of discussion about the use of the Confederate flag. Some see it as a historical/cultural icon, some as a symbol for rebellion, others as a symbol of racism.

So what are the views here? I'm particularly interested in the views of our American members.
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Re: The latest controversy from America

Postby FNG » Tue Jun 23, 2015 6:53 pm

not an American here but there is some nice history behind the flag that is flown

The flag everyone calls the Confederate flag is actually the The Battle Flag of the Army of Northern Virginia
It's use continued as it was adopted by various survivor veteran organisations before other less worthy people took interest in it

The wiki is quite interesting and seems reasonable well written

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flags_of_ ... of_America

Personally I like flags, but people hide behind it and my own view is that where it is used to promote segregation and hatred they insult the people who died carrying it into battle (even though they may have carried it for the wrong reasons too)

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Re: The latest controversy from America

Postby JCalhoun » Tue Jun 23, 2015 9:26 pm

I despise how neo-Nazis and hate groups hide behind it. Otherwise I'm really cool with it since my family has been the southeast since 1760.

In most of the governmental areas where a flag of the Confederacy would be flown I prefer one of the true to history Confederate flags.

Once you get down to brass tacks every flag could offend somebody. I'm of Scots-Irish heritage so should be offended by the Union Jack? My wife is part Creek Indian so should she be offended by the Stars and Stripes because of what Andrew Jackson did?
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Re: The latest controversy from America

Postby Hoosier » Tue Jun 23, 2015 9:57 pm

'Beings I was born and raised a 'Yankee' I have no real feelings positive or negative regarding the Confederate flag.
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Re: The latest controversy from America

Postby dutchman » Wed Jun 24, 2015 2:55 am

Northern Yankee reporting in. I can understand why people feel that the Confederate flag represents racism. For some people that is all they see in it because that's what applied to their past. For others it can represent the rebellion and independence. Those are two things most Americans admire. But when I look at it I see the courage and conviction of the folks that carried it. To pull out of the Union and go to war against someone with much more industry, population, raw materials and money. Yet they did and did it willingly. Until Gettysburg they seemed to have to upper hand in almost every engagement. If you can stand on the field at Gettysburg, look out across that huge expanse and imagine the men of Pickett's division coming through the hail of cannon fire, for almost a mile. Then the last 200 yards the rifle and musket fire that the Union troops poured onto them. How can you not appreciate the courage and conviction those men had. I don't agree with their views, but I admire their courage. That battle flag represents a lot more then just racism.
If they want to keep it a symbol of the past they should be able to do so. We are the ones that attach only shame to it.

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Re: The latest controversy from America

Postby Ricky » Wed Jun 24, 2015 1:58 pm

We have occasional questions raised over the English flag, the St George's cross, as typically it is much employed by the 'foreigners out' brigade.
However It doesn't have the historical tones that are associated with such activity, so such questions are usually laughed at or just ignored.
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Re: The latest controversy from America

Postby dutchman » Fri Jun 26, 2015 10:45 pm

I just listened to the President tell us the Confederate troops fought for slavery. I thought they fought for States Rights. Can someone shed a little light on this. If it was about slavery, why didn't Lincoln emancipate the slaves before 1863???

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Re: The latest controversy from America

Postby JCalhoun » Sun Jun 28, 2015 8:26 am

The Emancipation Proclamation was only an executive order that freed slaves in the states in rebellion. It did not outlaw slavery in states such as Missouri, Kentucky, and Maryland. It was meant to give moral cause to the Union to keep Europe out of the war.

As an executive order it was worthless since slavery could only be abolished by a constitutional amendment which required the vast majority of Congress and ratifying of by the states.

The real issue was states rights but that was a very broad issue. The states that made up the CSA felt that the federal gov't was becoming too large and too powerful. Slavery was a states rights issue but so were many other things. Much like today, the way the feds want to run your entire life rather than the people of one region being able to run things as they fit.

As I posted on other forums, I seriously doubt any Civil War soldiers or sailors gave their lives and limbs for either side of slavery. "Let's charge that huge battery of cannon so we can get chewed up by grapeshot because we want slaves!" was not anyone's battle cry.
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Re: The latest controversy from America

Postby dutchman » Sun Jun 28, 2015 12:10 pm

Thank you JCalhoun. I was doing a little more research trying to see if I misunderstood. I did find that one of the things that was going on. If a Southerner went North on a visit for a short time, the officials in the northern state would try to free any slaves he might have with him. Saying the rights of the State don't cross State borders.

Slavery was dying on its own in a few generations it would have ended on it's own.

So here's a thought, if Republicans freed the enslaved African Americans, why are most of them democrats now????
Just curious???

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Re: The latest controversy from America

Postby Ricky » Sun Jun 28, 2015 2:03 pm

JCalhoun wrote:As I posted on other forums, I seriously doubt any Civil War soldiers or sailors gave their lives and limbs for either side of slavery. "Let's charge that huge battery of cannon so we can get chewed up by grapeshot because we want slaves!" was not anyone's battle cry.


But you could very easily argue that they fought for the continuation of their way of life / economy / values / etc

And as the South was based on an agricultural model which was enormously dependant on slaves...

As noted above the north was pushing hard towards removing slavery, but the south was unlikely to go there any time soon without some serious pressure... hell, they went to war over it*, which kinda shows how much they were willing to bend to Northern pressure

* you know the disclaimer. Slavery was one issue, but basically as it was a state's rights issue and that was what the south rebelled on...
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Re: The latest controversy from America

Postby dutchman » Sun Jun 28, 2015 4:18 pm

The South did depend on slave no doubt about that, but the Cotton Gin had proved that machine was more cost effective and productive then slaves. As this became more obvious to all the demand for slaves would have ended and the machines would have replaced them as a work force.

Don't believe that ask a Detroit auto worker how well he held up against robotics.

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Re: The latest controversy from America

Postby Ricky » Mon Jun 29, 2015 7:43 am

dutchman wrote:The South did depend on slave no doubt about that, but the Cotton Gin had proved that machine was more cost effective and productive then slaves. As this became more obvious to all the demand for slaves would have ended and the machines would have replaced them as a work force.

Don't believe that ask a Detroit auto worker how well he held up against robotics.


The introduction of the Cotton Gin is usually held to have massively increased the demand for plantations and the slaves who worked them.
With handling the raw material done quickly by machine, people could and did produce more, which means growing more, which means more slaves to maintain the plantations, harvest the cotton, etc etc etc.
Many people even cite the cotton gin an an indirect cause of the Civil War because of this!
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Re: The latest controversy from America

Postby JCalhoun » Mon Jun 29, 2015 8:22 am

There was also timber and food farming, so cotton was not the only agricultural commodity. Sugar was a big money maker along the Gulf Coast. Many of the sugar plantations during the late 1700's early 1800's were operated by former slaves who also owned slaves. Slavery was nothing new to Africans.


Some believe if the plantations in the south had access to the extremely cheap European immigrant labor the north had, slavery probably would have become much less profitable. Slaves were expensive to buy, clothe, house, feed, and medicate compared to the immigrants in the northeast who barely made enough to buy food. Or the company towns where you lived in a company owned shack, bought from a company owned store using company currency and could never leave because you always owed more than you could make.

An example is a series of canals that were built around New Orleans pre-Civil War period that was built by Irish immigrants because the work was considered too dangerous for slaves. After the work the Irish had just enough money to settle into a small part of the outer limits of the city.
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Re: The latest controversy from America

Postby dutchman » Mon Jun 29, 2015 10:22 am

I was aware of the "Company Towns". They really were a trap to keep cheap labor in place so business could run at higher profits. I placed it mostly with mining, but I guess it could play with any industry. You touch on a good point though, America really was built on discrimination if you think about it. We took advantage of those looking for the streets of gold and worked them practically to death. If you look at the coal mines, the railroads the iron plants all ran on immigrant labor. As one race or creed of immigrant was replaced by another that might work cheaper they moved up a rung on the ladder. If you look at the Irish in New York City and Boston. They came from the bottom to work up to police officers as they gained in their standing. Back then that's how they earned their way I guess.

I remember watching the Ken Burns series on the Civil War, I thought he'd mentioned that the cotton gin had freed up slaves from the work of picking the seeds out of the cotton so they weren't as needed as before. He didn't mention the increase in production however. But I can see the point.

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Re: The latest controversy from America

Postby Ricky » Tue Jun 30, 2015 11:35 am

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L2tWwHOXMhI


All of which is true, but none of which really changes that point that slavery was a vital component in the South's society.

Cheap immigrant labour did at least have the option of moving on, and did have the (tiny) chance to actually better themselves
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